Despite gimpy back, Tiger Woods would have been ready to defend Masters title

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A refreshed Tiger Woods, sporting a goatee out of what he termed “laziness,” conducted a video interview with Golf TV’s Henni Zuel and confirmed he would have been ready to defend his title this week at the Masters had it not been postponed. Woods — who has not competed since Feb. 16 when he disclosed back stiffness at the Genesis and missed the WGC Mexico, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship complaining that his back continued to flare up — said his health had made great strides.

“Night and day. I feel a lot better than I did then,” said Woods, who has competed only twice this year, finishing in a tie for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and 68th – last among those who made the cut – at Riviera Country Club. “I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at. I’ve been able to play some golf. Fortunately, Medalist Golf Club is still open here – virtually every course to the south of us is closed, but we remain open, so it’s been nice to go out there and hit some golf balls a little bit. You need to get some fresh air and do…

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